KENYA: President’s brother didn’t import sugar after all

Published: 06/27/2018, 5:08:06 PM

Agriculture Cabinet Secretary Mwangi Kiunjuri has added to the twist surrounding the unraveling of individuals and companies behind the importation of contaminated sugar by disowning details of a list he forwarded to Parliament, according to Kenya's Tuko newspaper.

Kiunjuri vindicated Protech Investment Limited a company co-owned by President Uhuru Kenyatta's brother Muhoho Kenyatta which was mentioned among importers of contraband sugar in a list reported to be from his Ministry.

Speaking to Hot 96 radio during a press conference monitored by on Wednesday, June 27, Kiunjuri said Protech never imported a grain of sugar as alleged by Aldai MP Cornely Serem.

On Tuesday, June 26, Serem had heated up a session by a joint Agriculture and Trade committees probing the sugar scandal by explicitly saying Protech imported thousands of kilogrammes of the substandard commodity.

A furious Kiunjuri instead hit out at Serem for dragging the president's family into the sugar saga to gain popularity further alleging that he was a gun for hire for individuals out to defame the first family.

"I want to set the record straight by correcting an impression created by details of a report I submitted to parliament when I was put to task over the illegal sugar scandal. It is unacceptable and even immoral to use one's privileged position to defame another person and politicise the war against corruption," Kiunjuri stated in a thin veiled attack against Serem.

According to Kiunjuri, the list he gave comprised all the companies which were registered to import sugar and never meant all documented firms indeed imported the product. He said he had expected the list which was forwarded to Parliament was corrected to show the distinction between companies which imported sugar and those that did not.

"The list showed which companies were registered to import sugar and which firms imported. Allegations by Serem are desperate and misleading. The named company never imported eveb a single grain of sugar," Kiunjuri said.

The CS was categorical that Serem maliciously dragged the president's brother into the sugar scandal to gain political mileage.

"It is unfortunate that some people think they will gain popularity by insensitively mentioning the president and his family in a bid to please their masters. It is unfortunate for one to believe they will make headlines and gain political mileage by mentioning president Uhuru's family in crude and archaic ways," Kiunjuri said.

Kinjuri said he would not be intimidated by people he alleged were frustrating the war against corruption by politicising investigations.

"Every dog has its owner. When such a dog barks you don't respond to it but look for its owner," he said.

Legislators in the Trade and Agriculture committees were disgruntled on Tuesday, June 26, after Cabinet Secretary for Interior Fred Matiang'i failed to appear with Serem linking his absence to the inclusion of Muhoho's name among directors of companies which imported killegal sugar.

Kiunjuri's statement affirms the assertion that there was a growing rift between Uhuru's and Deputy President William Ruto's loyalists in the Jubilee camp just a few days after Elgeyo Marakwet Senator and Gatundu South MP Moses Kuria said all was not well in their political house.